Guests flock to Mirfield 1940s tea party

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A Mirfield couple cast the austerity that defined a decade aside when they threw a tea party celebrating the best of the 1940s.

Darren and Jackie Brooke opened up their home for an afternoon fundraiser in aid of Kirkwood Hospice. Ration books were handed out to over 100 guests who embraced the wartime theme with period costumes.

The event was the couple’s third charity tea party this summer, and visitors enjoyed a vintage spread, champagne and entertainment from the era.

Comedian Peter Morgan, whose wife was treated at the hospice before her death in 2014, performed a popular routine featuring his favourite characters, and also compered the day. Money raised from the events will go towards a fund set up in Jackie Morgan’s memory.

1940s singer Natasha Harper then treated the audience to songs from the decade, and voiceover artist Brandyn Shaw blended songs and comedy sketches from the 1920s, 30s and 40s to amuse the crowds.

An Austin Seven car from the period was on show and a dance tent set up by the Brookes, who organise and run the day themselves with the support of friends and Kirkwood volunteers.

“We have been delighted to see so many people enjoying our parties and to know the money they have helped to raise will benefit a very worthwhile cause,” said Darren and Jackie.

“We would like to thank everyone who has bought tickets or donated a prize for the auction and raffle. A big thank you also goes to our family, friends and all of the volunteers that have worked so hard to help to ensure that the event ran so smoothly.”

Kirkwood Hospice fundraiser Lyndsey Richardson has worked closely with the organisers and was on hand to lend her support on the day. She has been overwhelmed by the commitment of Darren, Jackie and Peter.

“Everyone has worked so hard throughout this year on these events. We are so grateful for the wonderful support of Jackie and Darren, who have not only opened their doors to Kirkwood, but also their hearts. Darren Jackie and Peter have given up so much of their time to plan and make sure these events have been such a success.

“Everyone connected with Kirkwood would like to say a huge thank you to them. Their contribution will make a big difference to the care we can provide for the people who rely on our support.”

More than £20,000 collected at fundraising events has been donated to the hospice charity this summer and will go directly towards nursing care for terminally ill patients from the Kirklees area.